Wednesday, April 28, 2010
This time I'm tasting wine from a well established Indian vineyard - Chateau Indage (oh, again monetizing on French associations). Chateau means "castle" in French and somehow I doubt that this vineyard does, in fact, have a castle somewhere in Nasik. "Indage" doesn't mean anything, perhaps only the company owner knows the meaning behind this word.
Anyway, as of today, it's one of the most popular wine companies in India, and I guess one of the most successful in economic terms - most of the liquor shops in Maharashtra (at least in this state) got some Indage products.
Back to the guinea pig!
This wine strangely has no name, it's only written "Platinum series" which is a series of expensive Indage wines, and "Chateau Indage" with beautiful butterfly image. Moreover, label admits it's Merlot-Syrah - a combination of two popular grape types. Harvest of year 2007, bottled in 2009.
MRP: 850 Rs - definitely an expensive piece of joy
Therefore, most middle class Indians or Mumbaikars won't afford this wine on a daily basis as dinner/lunch supplement.
Indage Platinum Merlot-Syrah got a very nice, smooth taste - like silk touching your skin. Smell is very pleasant, yet simple. There is no fruit aftertaste, but the wine will go perfectly with virtually any dish. This wine is easily comparable to great products from France or Italy.
Verdict: One of the best wines available in India today. But, rather expensive. You can get really premium wine in Europe for this price.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Yesterday I spotted this beautiful bottle in a local wine shop in Bandra and decided to give it a try!
It's a new vineyard (at least I've never heard about it) called the very same way as the wine itself - York Vineyards, located in (try to guess!) Nasik, Maharashtra.
Price: 595 Rs
Tall beautiful bottle, real cork. On the back of the bottle it says "proudly Indian", so I assume Indian wine industry is not only growing but is already proud of itself :)
Well, I didn't enjoy how it smelled initially but after 30 minutes of air contact this problem faded away. Wine has a rich, fruity, a little bit sweet taste and interesting smell. Those who prefer "original" wine (read - different from classic Bordeaux or Chianti) will enjoy York.
Verdict: "York" wine is a great alternative to "Tiger Hill". Price is almost the same, as well as the quality. I'm happy there is another company now making real wine in India!
Went together perfectly with grana padano cheese and wasabi peanuts.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Our first "guinea pig" will be Vallonneé wine from Nasik, Maharashtra.
"Vallonneé" means "Hilly" in French, and, perhaps, the manufacturer wants to take benefit of (to monetize) France-great-wine association in our minds.
I would like to note here that I live in Mumbai (ex-Bombay) and for some reason 90% of the wine (or maybe even a higher number) available in city shops - is from Nasik. Somehow, other states that produce wine in India (I know at least two more - Goa and Karnataka, and both make nice products) either don't have access to Maharashtrian market or don't want to join it.
Anyway, back to the wine. It's quite costly - 750 Rs, even though the brand, as well as the vineyard, are new in the market. I guess, they are exploiting the ridiculously high customs duty on foreign wine. While the cheapest-cheapest European wine costs 1000 Rs in Mumbai, 750 Rs is still a smaller number.
That's the economical part.
The wine itself is quite good, even though has a little "rough" smell. Still, it's better than 80% of Nasik wine. It's incomparable to wine of "Sula" and many other brands, quality is much better.
Still, "Tiger Hill" from Nasik costs 600 Rs - cheaper, and it's a little bit, but better. The taste is more smooth, and there is no "rough" smell.
Verdict: If you have no other choice - this wine is a good option. However, if there is "Tiger Hill" in the same outlet - I say don't waste 150 rupees :)
Will go well with: meat, solid cheese like parmesan.
PS. This wine got beautiful, proper cork :)